Police car taken for joyride after officer assaulted

By Alexandra Newlove

The man was pursued for about 15 minutes along Cove Rd at speeds of about 50km/h before road spikes brought the chase to an end.
The man was pursued for about 15 minutes along Cove Rd at speeds of about 50km/h before road spikes brought the chase to an end.

A man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly assaulted a Whangarei police officer then went for a joyride in a police car.

The 24-year-old was confronted by police at 10pm on Friday after reports of disorderly behaviour at a Waipu property. Police said the man was unco-operative and became aggressive, before he assaulted one of the officers and tried to drive off in one of the two police cars that attended the incident.

There were no keys in the ignition of the first car, so he went to the other car which did have keys, and drove away.

The man was pursued for about 15 minutes along Cove Rd at speeds of about 50km/h. Police then used road spikes on Cove Rd, bringing the car to a stop.

The man was charged with disorderly behaviour, aggravated wounding, escaping custody, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and failure to stop.

Police said the assaulted police officer was not seriously injured.

Police were still investigating the incident, including why the man was unable to be tasered and why there were keys left in the police vehicle.

The assault comes just over a month after a policeman was stabbed in the head while responding to reports of suspected car thieves in Kaitaia. A 15-year-old boy has been charged with stabbing the officer.

- Northern Advocate

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